Anonymous, 25 – Sweden

I’ve lived my life afraid of people. Afraid of talking to them, and afraid of being honest. And I saw much of that in Isak.
When Dr. Skrulle asks Isak
“Isak, liker du andre mennesker?”
and he answers
“Ja… sikkert”
I realized that would have been my answer too. And that that probably wasn’t the right answer.
The question “liker du andre mennesker?” got stuck in my head for quite a while, and I spent a lot of time thinking about what might be wrong. For some reason I googled it one day. I don’t know if I was looking for a gif of the scene maybe, or you know how sometimes you just google stuff for no reason?
Anyway. The first page that comes up when you google the words “liker du andre mennesker” is the norwegian wikipedia article “Engstelig (unnvikende) personlighetsforstyrrelse” (Avoidant personality disorder).
I cried reading through it because I recognized so much of that behavior. I clearly remember the sentence “Hvis forstyrrelsen forblir ubehandlet, vil personen isolere seg selv mer og mer”, and how much it scared me.
I wasn’t sure I actually had AvPD, but I knew isolating myself the way that I was, even from the people I called my closest friends, wasn’t only sad – it was dangerous. It deprives life of it’s meaning if you never get to truly share it with someone.
It’s hard to explain how my life has changed since SKAM. On the surface it looks pretty much the same. And I’m still very much afraid of the same things that scared me before. But I know the ones closest to me have noticed how I’ve forced myself to open up to them a bit. How I can now sometimes talk about things that I felt I literally – physically – couldn’t before. And they have in return opened up more to me.
I hope this would’ve happened eventually with or without SKAM, but I know for sure SKAM was the catalyst that made it happen.
Life is realer now. Life is better.